12 ways BCU has transformed Birmingham

Looking at Birmingham's Eastside in 2022, you couldn't imagine that this thriving learning quarter  was once a neglected wasteland just over a decade ago. Now the home of BCU's City Centre Campus - with four new state-of-the-art buildings - it's a welcoming area bringing together students, businesses, partners and artists.

We've invested over £400 million to help revitalise the second city and create modern learning facilities for our students since 2010. Here's a quick rundown of our rapid transformation in the heart of Birmingham city centre.

1) £72 million project restores Victorian bicycle factory

Opens: 2022
Cost: £72 million

We're transforming the 120-year-old derelict Belmont Works building into a new home for STEAMhouse - a unique centre dedicated to providing a space for collaboration, innovation and the development of new ideas, start-ups and ventures.

The overhaul has restored the Grade A listed building on Cardigan Street in Birmingham’s Eastside, which stood derelict since being gutted by a fire in 2007. The building has been kitted out with a range of production equipment, technology expertise, masterclasses and workshops to help businesses take ideas to reality, making it an ideal home for all innovators interested in a new collaborative community supporting new work, products and services.

2) Alexander Stadium to become the home for Sport students

Up to 1,000 students will study from a newly redeveloped Western Stand at the Alexander Stadium after the completion of the Commonwealth Games in 2022. Set over three storeys, the facility will become home to sport-related courses with state-of-the-art sporting equipment such as environmental chambers and anti-gravity treadmills, providing elite level training for students.

3) £41 million extension transforms our City South Campus

City South extension

Opened: Spring 2018
Cost: £41 million

This extension at our City South Campus is home to our new suite of sports and life sciences courses, with a range of specialist laboratories learning facilities. In addition to classrooms, a lecture theatre, social learning spaces, an open access IT suite and café facilities, it also provides laboratories and a hub for training public service professionals such as teachers and social workers. Did you know we’re the region’s largest provider of qualified health and social care professionals to the NHS and producer of more teachers than any other institution in the West Midlands?

4) Additional learning space for more than 1,000 healthcare and education students

Opened: September 2020
Cost: £5 million

The new facility at 12 Harborne Road in Edgbaston, close to our City South Campus, provides a host of additional teaching space for existing students, as well as creating capacity to train over 1,000 more public service professionals of the future. It's home to our Skills Practice and Care Enhancement lab - an innovative practice area available for all students to use in their own time to master their clinical skills.

5) New experimental learning space for thousands of City Centre students

The Hive at Curzon B

Opened: January 2018
Cost: £31 million

This 100,000 square foot extension to our Curzon Building offers additional teaching and learning space for 3,000 students and staff within more than 650 rooms. As well as a new dedicated IT suite for students – with nearly 100 laptops available for loan – Curzon B boasts an innovative lecture theatre called The Hive that features raked, group activity seating and integrated technology.

6) First purpose built Conservatoire in the UK for over 30 years

Conservatoire concert hall

Opened: Autumn 2017
Cost: £57 million

Our new home for the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire opened at our City Centre Campus at the end of last year. The new Conservatoire is a unique contemporary building, incorporating five public performance spaces including a 500-seat concert hall for orchestral training and performance, private rehearsal and practice rooms, and teaching spaces for musicians from a variety of disciplines. It also includes The Lab, a cutting edge, completely flexible black-box studio, and the first permanent jazz space in any UK conservatoire – the 80-seat Eastside Jazz Club.

7) New home for Business, Law and Social Sciences students

Curzon Building

Opened: Summer 2015
Cost: £63 million

Our Curzon Building, which overlooks Eastside City Park, boasts one of the best views of the Birmingham City Centre skyline. It provides teaching space for Birmingham City Business School, the School of Law and the School of Social Sciences, together with a new library, IT space and other student support facilities.

8) An award-winning space for arts, design and media students

Parkside Building

Completed: Autumn 2013
Cost: £62 million

The Parkside Building at the City Centre Campus provides a home for design-related courses as well as state-of-the art media facilities, including four industry-standard TV studios with the latest Sony equipment, and ‘green screen’ MILO studio. It was honoured with a 'Sustainability Award' at the Insider West Midlands Property Awards for its low carbon and low impact design and technologies.

9) Two new facilities for jewellery students in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter

Opened: January 2016 and September 2019

Our School of Jewellery is the largest of its kind in Europe, and has expanded even further over the last few years. With the relocation of the library, computer suite and a new postgraduate design and research facility to St Paul's Square in 2019 and a fully equipped, purpose built area within Birmingham’s new Assay Office for Gemmology students since 2016, the School is cementing its position in the historical Jewellery Quarter. 

The original building in Vittoria Street, dating back to 1890, is also the backdrop to the BBC2 hit TV series, 'All That Glitters'.

10) New specialist labs for technology students at Millennium Point

Millennium Point refurbed facilities

Completed: Autumn 2017
Cost: £6.5 million

We’ve invested £6.5 million on improvements to our Millennium Point facilities, including new specialist labs, and a project space with makers’ area, to ensure our students have the best possible environment for practice-based learning.

11) Teaching wing for health and social care students

City South teaching wing

Completed: Autumn 2011
Cost: £2 million

Our new teaching wing allowed all our health and social care students call City South Campus their home. This was the latest addition to a previous £30 million refurbishment of the Seacole Building which opened in 2006. Our health students can take advantage of state of the art facilities including a simulated operating theatre and hospital wards, a fully-equipped birthing room, a simulated home environment and a fully-functional radiography suite and 3D imaging diagnostic suite.

12) Multi-million pound sports centre

Doug Ellis Sports Centre

Completed: 2010
Cost: £8.5 million

Our Doug Ellis Sports Centre boasts an 80-station fitness suite, an eight-court sports hall, and workout and spinning studios. The centre also offers plenty of room for team sports including five-a-side football and cricket as well as an all-weather pitch.

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